What happens if your bills are piling up, your income is going down and you feel as if you’re over your head in financial responsibility? Here is a checklist to help determine when it is time to take a serious look at your finances.
If you can answer, “yes” to two or more of these scenarios, then it may be time to take a long hard look at your financial life.
1. My current income is not enough to cover my current bills.
2. I most often cannot and do not pay my bills on time.
3. I have several credit cards and am applying for more in the hopes this will help make ends meet.
4. My monthly expenses/payments are 20 percent or more of my take-home pay – this does not include rent/mortgage payments.
5. I usually pay the minimum due on my credit cards.
6. I hate to open the mail or answer my phone because I’m consistently getting letters and calls from creditors about late and overdue bills.
7. I use my credit cards to make payments when I should be using cash.
8. I use cash advances to help make ends meet.
9. I tried to use a credit card recently and found I was over my limit.
10. I use my credit cards more and more because I find myself running out of cash.
11. I don’t know exactly how much I owe and to whom.
12. I’ve recently been denied credit.
Do you feel as if your finances are controlling your life? Is it time to gain control of your financial future? Here are a few suggestions:
* Include your family in your financial plans. It is important that the people closet to you know what you are doing financially and why you are doing it.
* Develop a budget or plan. Look long and hard at how you got into your current financial situation and what it is going to take to improve it. Learn from your past and go positively forward.
* Each month commit to reducing debt. Make an effort to reduce spending by 10-20 percent per month until you’re finances are under control.
* Change your “charging” habits. Only use your credit cards when you know you can pay the balance off completely each month.
* Look for ways to increase your income.
* Keep a close eye on your spending. Know exactly how much money you have to spend and where you’ve spent it. Keep all your receipts and log them into your budget. Soon, you’ll see spending patterns and you can begin to adjust your spending accordingly.
* Remember a credit card balance is a loan. It will need to be paid back in a timely manner.
Bottom line: Getting your financial house in order can be tough. Know that it’s going to take a serious commitment from you. Discipline is the key! It can be done and with will power, it will be done. Learn your lessons and go financially forward.
I highly recommend Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny. Here's a direct link to Amazon.com where you can read more about this book or purchase it: Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life
Please take a few minutes to visit my website www.SharonMichaels.com for more empowering suggestions, tools and tips and to sign up for my "Unlimited Success" free monthly newsletter.